Posted by Kevin Arnovitz
David Thorpe's newest installment of Rookie Watch is up, and Rudy Fernandez headlines the Top 10:
He provides more than just box-score numbers. His energy, activity and feel for the game make the players around him better.
After watching him in person, I see that he is much "springier" than I had thought. Not just in his ability to jump -- yes, I saw his dunk in China this summer -- but in his overall ability to move suddenly to important spots on the floor. In scouting terms, he has very "live legs."
Fernandez's 3PAs have been deadly -- 14 of his 26 FGMs have been threes, and he's shooting a smokin' .424 from beyond the arc. But the rookie wants you to know that there's more to his game than the 3PM. Doing his best Rickey Henderson, Fernandez told Jason Quick:
"Rudy is not everyday a shooter. He's defense. He's passes. He's assists."
At 6' 6", a few rebounds might serve useful, but who's counting? For sheer quotability, Fernandez is the class of the NBA's international field. Several weeks back, when asked by OregonLive.com's Sean Meagher whom in the NBA he most looked forward to playing against, Fernandez replied:
"Pau. I've never played against him, only on the same team. I want to put points on your face."
With Brandon Roy questionable for Wednesday night's game in Miami, count on Fernandez for another bundle of minutes, more third-person heroics, and the placement of points on the opponent's visage.